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Caps recall prospects Jakub Vrana and Paul Carey, send down struggling rookie Zach Sanford

Caps recall prospects Jakub Vrana and Paul Carey, send down struggling rookie Zach Sanford

The Capitals recalled forwards Jakub Vrana and Paul Carey from Hershey and reassigned struggling rookie Zach Sanford to the Bears, Washington announced Wednesday evening.

The Caps are eager to find more offense and to get a look at Vrana, the 13th overall pick in 2014. The 20-year-old is tied for third in the AHL with nine goals in 18 games. The Czech winger also has seven assists.

Because of the Caps’ proximity to the salary cap ceiling, they had to send down Sanford ($875,000 salary) in order to recall Vrana ($863,333).

Sanford practiced with the Caps on Wednesday morning, but afterward Coach Barry Trotz acknowledged that there had been internal discussions about sending him down. Sanford returned to the facility a few hours later to grab his gear and head to Hershey.

RELATED: TROTZ SHAKES UP THE FORWARD LINES

In 18 games with the Caps this season, Sanford had no goals and one assist. He had played only 6:37 and 8:23 in the last two games, respectively.

Trotz said he was concerned that Sanford wasn’t getting enough ice time in Washington. He also noted that Sanford could benefit from the confidence boost he'd get in the minors.

“He’s played very, very well in a lot of areas," Trotz said prior to the move. "He’s still making plays. He just hasn’t got a reward for that. We’re always juggling development and long term for Zach. We think he’s going to be a really good player for us. But we got to make sure that we’re doing the right things and he’s getting enough minutes.”

Trotz added: “He’s played well but he hasn’t got a lot of stats. As a young guy, you want some stats.”

It’s unclear where Vrana, a left wing, will fit in the Capitals’ lineup. But the reason he was called up is easy to figure out: the Capitals have scored 12 goals in five games and they want to see if Vrana, who had four goals and five assists in the Bears' last nine games, can help fix that.

MORE CAPITALS: CAPS' NISKANEN EXPECTED TO PLAY THURSDAY

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Capitals at Wild: Time, TV Channel, Live Stream, How to Watch

Capitals at Wild: Time, TV Channel, Live Stream, How to Watch

The Capitals head to the midwest Sunday to take on the Minnesota Wild. The Caps' offense struggled against the Jets on Thursday, but as new players continue to gel and with the celebration of Alex Ovechkin’s 700th goal behind them, all eyes will be on the Caps to see what they do next. 

Here is everything you need to know about the matchup, which takes place at 7 p.m. ET on NBC Sports Washington.

CAPITALS VS. WILD GAME 65: HOW TO WATCH 

WHAT: Washington Capitals vs. Minnesota Wild

Where: Xcel Energy Center, St. Paul, Minnesota

When: Sunday, March 1, 7:00 E.T. 

TV Channel: The Capitals at Wild game will be broadcast on NBC Sports Washington (Channel Finder

Live Stream: You can live stream Capitals vs. Wild on NBC Sports Washington's Live stream page and on the NBC Sports App

Radio: Caps 24/7 Radio, 106.7 The Fan FM

CAPITALS at WILD: INJURY REPORT

Wild: Luke Kunin: Upper-body

Wild: Carson Soucy: Upper-body

CAPITALS vs. WILD TV SCHEDULE 

7:00 PM: Caps Faceoff Live

7:30 PM: Caps Pregame Live

8:00 PM: Capitals vs. Jets (LIVE)

10:30 PM: Caps Postgame Live 

11:00 PM: Chasing Greatness

11:30 PM: Caps Overtime Live

CAPITALS at WILD: PLAYERS TO WATCH

Alex Ovechkin, F, Capitals (43-17-60): Fresh off the celebration of his 700th goal, everyone will be looking to Ovi to keep the energy going. 

Jared Spurgeon, D, Wild, (10-18-28): Since Jan. 18, Spurgeon has scored eight goals, the most among NHL defensemen. The Caps need to keep an eye on him, both the defense and offense. 

Click here to download the MyTeams App by NBC Sports. Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream Capitals and Wizards games easily from your device.

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New Capital Brenden Dillon doesn't miss a beat during pregame handshakes

New Capital Brenden Dillon doesn't miss a beat during pregame handshakes

Prior to Thursday night's game against the Jets, the Capitals got ready by partaking in a pregame ritual of handshakes, and it seems new Capitals defenseman Brenden Dillon already has it down.

The Capitals are already known for having an impressive number of pregame handshakes, but with the addition of Dillion at the trade deadline, it seems things have become even more complicated. 

In the video of a hallway at Winnipeg's stadium, Dillon is seen fist-bumping a few of his teammates, fixing his hair with Carl Hagelin, giving a little more intricate handshake to Tom Wilson and tapping sticks with Alex Ovechkin. 

While all of this is going on, more players in the back of the video start doing their own handshakes. Glad to see Dillon fitting in so well with his new teammates.

Click here to download the MyTeams App by NBC Sports. Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream Capitals and Wizards games easily from your device.

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